Today was Father's Day, as you all know, and this is the first one without my dad.
We didn't always have the best relationship, in fact when Chuck and I got engaged we hadn't spoken in a few years and I wasn't even sure I wanted him at the wedding let alone to walk me down the aisle. When I finally got up the courage to tell him I was getting married... well actually, I don't even remember making the call. But he ended up walking me down the aisle after all. Things have been good since ever since.
Except for a couple of years, he's lived in California his whole life and I've been in Seattle for more than 30 years so even though I didn't spend Father's Day with him I would always send a card and I would call him.
He often called me Sweetie and was always, always glad to hear from me. I'd ask him how he was doing and he'd tell me about his latest motorcycle ride or fishing with his nephew. In his later years he'd tell me about his newest injury or something he and my sister had done together.
His mom's family has held a large reunion for many years and my dad went back to Iowa for a few of them. Two years ago Chuck, Beth and I drove through there and met some of his cousins, who gave me a copy of a huge notebook of our family history. It's a book they've been creating for decades.
My grandma moved from Iowa to California when she got married so there is very little about her and our family in it. This year we're able to go to the reunion so I'm creating pages for the book. Pages of my grandma and grandpa, (he died before I was born) my dad and his little brother. Their children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and the births, marriages, and deaths.
Grandpa and Grandma
Grandma and Grandpa with my dad
With my dad's little brother
My dad and his mom
It's going to be bittersweet being at the reunion but I'm excited to learn more about my grandma and her family.
Hug your dad if you have a chance. Tell him how much he means to you. Share a fun memory you have of him, a time he made you smile.
There's nothing like the relationship between a daughter and her dad.
Chuck and our girls